Making motorcycles safer

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Justin Crann
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SGI report places focus on training, penalties

Much of the SGI Motorcycle Review Committee report places focus on safety, according to a spokesperson with the organization.

Mark Gasnier sits on his motorcycle outside of the Tim Hortons on Main St. N.

"That's really what the real issue at hand was — saving lives and preventing injuries," said Kelley Brinkworth, SGI's manager of media relations. "That actually then decreases the claims, which means there's less need for rate increases."

The committee, which was formed last year and is comprised of "representatives from various groups in the motorcycle community or connected to it," put forth several recommendations to government in their report.

Among them: increased requirements for getting a learner's license; incentives for new motorcyclists to take training; motorcycle inspections prior to registering a total loss motorcycle or used motorcycle previously registered in another jurisdiction; and new penalties in the SGI driver improvement program, Brinkworth said.

"It has been quite a process. … It all started last year when SGI submitted its rate proposal last February. At the time, it was proposed motorcycles see a 73 per cent rate increase," she said. "Motorcyclists were very vocal about that … and so government asked SGI to amend that proposal."

What it all comes down to is keeping people safe.

"The issue at hand here is that motorcyclists continue to be involved in far too many crashes. There's just a proportionately higher number of injuries," said Brinkworth. "A lot of that is attributed to the fact that there's just more protection when you're in a passenger vehicle.

"But just the safety measures being recommended (in the report) alone, we estimate we'll be able to reduce motorcycle deaths and injuries by about 20 per cent," she added.

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